Scientists find a 17-pound meteorite in Antarctica…

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(MENAFN- Youm7) A daring team of scientists braved the harsh conditions of the icy Antarctic desert to recover five new meteorites, including a massive space rock weighing nearly 17 pounds, according to the Spaces.

The team of scientists included Field Museum and University of Chicago researcher Maria Valdez, who estimated that of the 45,000 meteorites recovered so far from the icy wastelands of Antarctica, only 100 or so were the size of the largest member at this new distance, which weighed 16.7 pounds ( 7.6 kg).

“Size doesn’t necessarily matter when it comes to meteorites, and even small meteorites can be incredibly valuable scientifically, but of course, finding a large meteorite like this is really rare and exciting,” Valdez said in a statement.

The team, led by Vinciane Debaille, a planetary scientist at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (FNRS-ULB) in Belgium, was the first to discover potential new meteorite locations mapped using satellite imagery.

“Going on an adventure to explore uncharted territories is exciting, but we also had to deal with the fact that the reality on the ground is much more difficult than the beauty of satellite imagery,” Debayle said in the statement.

The team planned their trip for the Antarctic summer, in late December, but temperatures in the region still hovered around 14 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 10 degrees Celsius). Valdez said that at some points during the mission, Antarctica was actually much warmer. from Chicago, but the weather was more severe for the team due to days spent riding snowmobiles, trekking through icy fields, and nights spent sleeping in tents.

And with such frigid conditions even in the middle of summer, Antarctica might seem like an unlikely place anyone would choose to visit, but for meteorite hunters like this team, this frigid landscape offers unique opportunities. That’s because Antarctica is one of the best locations around the world to hunt for meteorites.

And Antarctica is a desert with a dry climate, which reduces the amount of weathering that meteorites are exposed to. Also, across the snow-white landscape, the black color of these space rocks stands out when they are on the surface of the area.

Conditions in Antarctica are favorable even for spotting meteorites that may have sunk under the ice and snow, because the undulating motion of glaciers against rocks can rediscover meteorites near the surface.

And while it’s undeniable that the largest meteorite recovered by the team is huge, it’s far from the largest or heaviest example of such a space rock ever to reach Earth’s surface.

This record is held by the Hoba meteorite in Namibia. Hoba is 9 feet (2.7 m) long, 9 feet wide, and 3 feet (0.9 m) thick, and weighs about 66 tons, or 132,000 pounds (60,000 kg). This is about 7,765 times heavier than the newly discovered Antarctic meteorite.


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